Can I speak to the mothers who felt more anguish than joy during their pregnancies?
The mamas who had to hustle when they should have been cherished?
The women who had to carry weights and expectations that they should not have had to during their most vulnerable time?
The women who hid their depression in fear of "loved ones" weaponizing their pain? Friends that abandoned, families that betrayed and partners that were unfaithful, abusive or even neglectful during the 9 months of absolute shifts and change?
Throughout the past decade of interacting with women during this time, amongst the beautiful journey that is motherhood can also be accompanied by great pain and loss. We keep quiet about it because of shame and embarrassment.
Please know that the version of you that carried life, under duress, is so integral to who you now are. No one knows your silent sufferings but I see them.
I believe you.
Even if it's done and passed now, it still mattered and matters. You deserved better and you were so incredibly strong.
It has taken me 5 years to edit more than one of my maternity photos.
I see them now with much kinder eyes. Last night I worked on some of them to go back and heal my inner feminine that felt a lot of pain. If your pregnancy was hard, beyond just the physical aspect, please be kind to yourself.
Go back and tell her you love her and that it gets easier.
The hardships will end.
Just keep going.
We are done hiding behind our strength. We are exposing the pain and abuses as well that can go along with pregnancies. And despite all that hard truth, you are still amazing women and mothers. Thank you to my mom who made me this beautiful dress. I'm sorry it took so long for you to see them. Your patience in my healing has been unwavering.
Your pregnancy mattered.
I'm here to validate you in solidarity.
Honor the pain that you did not deserve.
Forgive yourself for accepting anything less than you deserved as well.
Forgive yourself for not understanding the complexities that come with abuses and neglect.
Abusive people are truly powerless.
Reclaim yourself, love.